Aside from founding Ireland's only professional organisation for designers, Ryan, who himself studied architecture and commercial art, is remembered for pioneering design education in Ireland. Ryan taught at the National College of Art and Design in Dublin and helped to found the school of art and design at the Dublin Institute of Technology.
Amid the debates currently ongoing in the design world about accreditation and professional status, it's worth noting that Ryan worked tirelessly to improve the status of the creative industries in Ireland.
As the IDI website says:
"[Frank Ryan] played key roles in establishing design as a professional practice. Since the 1950s, Frank worked with undimmed enthusiasm in the promotion of better design through professional societies. He was one of the seven designers who founded the Institute of Creative Advertising (now ICAD). In 1972 he became a founder member of the Society of Designers in Ireland (now IDI) and was elected President of the Society in 1978. Frank has also been significantly involved in the Society of Industrial Artist and Designers, the Office of Public Works and the Crafts Council."
In his own practice, Ryan achieved notable status designing exhibitions, exhibition stands, commercial and industrial interiors.
A celebration of Ryan's life will be held on Saturday, May 27 in the Church of the Three Patrons in Rathgar, Dublin at 2PM.